To Mulch or Not to Mulch

As I look out at my gardens and trees, I think about the instant gratification of mulching…the fresh, rich color and well defined edges, not to mention all of the benefits of mulching:

  • Prevents weed growth
  • Conserves moisture in the soil
  • Cools the soil surface and stabilizes soil temperature in the heat of summer
  • Reduces soil erosion on slopes
  • Adds organic matter to the soil as the older mulch decomposes

As tempted as I am to start mulching-away, it is just not the right time yet.  The best time to mulch is in late spring, after the soil has had time to warm.  Mulching in March will only insulate the cold soil and shield it from the sun and warmth.  This will delay plant growth, both established and newly planted.

For now, I will prepare for mulching by tackling those pesky weeds that are already popping up in my beds.


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